Leadership Values

Values: Foundation for Ethical Action

Leadership ValuesLast week’s post focused on creating a clear vision as foundation for aligned action. This week we focus on the companion to vision: values. Values are deeply held views of what we find worthwhile. They come from many sources:  parents, religion, schools, peers, people we admire, and culture. Many go back to childhood; others are taken on as adults. Values help us define how we live our lives and accomplish our purpose.

The following exercise is drawn from the Innovative Leadership Workbook for Global Leaders.

Step 1: Define what you value most. From the list of values (both work and personal), select the ten that are most important to you—as guides for how to behave, or as components of a valued way of life. Feel free to add any values of your own to this list.

Personal Values Checklist

Innovative Leadership Values

Step 2: Elimination. Now that you have identified ten values, imagine that you are only permitted to have five. Which five would you give up? Cross them off. Now cross off another two to bring your list down to three. Finally take the list down to one. What is your top value?

Step 3: Integration. Take a look at the top three values on your list.

  • How would your life be different if those values were prominent and practiced?
  • What does each value mean, exactly? What do you expect from yourself, even in bad times?
  • Does the personal vision you’ve outlined reflect those values? If not, should your personal vision be expanded? Again, if not, are you prepared and willing to reconsider those values?
  • Are you willing to create a life in which these values are paramount, and help an organization put those values into action?

Which one item on the list do you care most about?

In the next blog post, we will explore putting vision and values in action. I encourage you to enjoy exploring the process of clarifying your values.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

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